By Daniel Gill
I, as well as many other people I have seen on the forum, have been wanting to get back into controlling in light of the recent events.
I last controlled about a year-and-a-half ago, and even though I don't think I have lost knowledge of the procedures and R/T, I am still a little nervous to log back in after so long.
From what I have seen on VATSpy ect. maybe GND/DEL can open ATIS without TWR or above? If I'm unsure about this, there could be other things that I don't know about. I don't want to be a nuisance to fellow controllers by not knowing the proper etiquette.
I suppose what I am asking is if there's a resource that I would be able to learn the new rules/procedures, so it can give me some more confidence to give it a go.
Thank you for your time, and apologies if this isn't suitable here.
Kind Regards, Daniel Gill
By Layth Al-Wakil
Departing and arriving pilots will all request the latest airfield and weather information on first contact.
Inbound pilots make this request roughly 50nm away from LXGB using their com2 however, if they are unable to do this, they can ask Sevilla Radar to allow them to switch frequencies momentarily to get the weather information from Tower.
Gibraltar does not have many approach types on offer, the three approaches available are:
RNAV to visual Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA) Visual approach As this is a non-precision evening there is likely to be more emphasis on the SRA, this will involve 2 separate controllers with 1 being there simply just to do the final segment of the approach, the controller can only have 1 aircraft on frequency. As you can imagine this is going to most likely lead to holding and delays so bring plenty of fuel extra and make sure you have charts for the aerodrome that will provide you with more information.
For free and up to date charts you can check out the Military AIP
There is an old Pilot brief that I wrote with much of the information that still applies to this date, this can be found here.
This briefing is split up according to each of the positions and what their responsibility will be:
LXGB_R_APP “Gibraltar Radar”
The main responsibiites are:
Identification and Control of outbound IFR aircraft f Identification and Control of inbound IFR aircraft until they are transferred to Talkdown or Aerodrome Control. Provision of a service to VFR inbound and outbound aircraft. Provision of a service to overflying traffic. Control of aircraft in emergency. Transfer of aircraft to Talkdown will be accompanied by a radar handover each time with aircraft descending to 1500ft.
LXGB_P_APP “Gibraltar Talkdown”
Talkdowns’ primary objective is to provide the SRA and thus is only allowed to have 1 aircraft on frequency at all times.
The SRA crib sheet that I created a little while ago is still in date and can be used fully for the procedure. Also bear in mind that you will be giving SRAs for both civilian and military aircraft on differing tracks.
The only pieces of co-ordination required are obtaining a landing clearance from tower and also informing radar of when the controller is free to receive another aircraft with the phrase “talkdown free”
LXGB_TWR “Gibraltar Tower”
In the absence of ground, Tower is to take the responsibilities from airway clearance all the way through to take-off clearance. The IFR clearance for each aircraft is to be sought from Sevilla Radar (LECS_CTR) who will provide the initial routing, cleared level, SSR code and any other instruction.
Once the aircraft has pushed back a release must also be sought from Radar who will ask Sevilla for a release and any after departure instructions which must be relayed on to the pilot even if it is just re-confirming the clearance.
Weather information must also be passed to inbound and outbound pilots via Tower, you effectively read them the METAR and active runway, if the aircraft is military you also pass the colour code.
By Dan Bishop-Adams
Following today's release of UK2000 Bristol 2019 HD, I thought I'd provide an update on the latest parking stand limitations - as this scenery includes some apron extensions and stand changes that won't be covered in the existing vMATS or indeed the sector file to an extent. This will also be useful for pilots choosing their stand when setting up for departure (or indeed arriving without ATC).
The aircraft type shown is the maximum type that can use that stand:
Stands 1-3 - A321
Stand 3R & 4 - B752*
Stands 5 & 6 - B738/A320
Stands 7-9 - A320
Stands 10-15 - A319
Stand 19 - A320/B738
Stand 20 - A321
Stand 21 - B733/F100/E190
Stand 22 - B738/A320
Stands 23-25 - A321**
Stand 26 - B789/A333
Stand 26S - B738/A320 (Cannot be used at same time as 26)
Stands 28 & 30 - A321
Stand 29 - B752
Stand 31R - E145
Stand 31 - A321
Stand 32R - E145/AT72
Stand 32 - B752
Stand 32L - E195
Stand 33 - B752
Stand 33L - E195
Stand 34 - A321
Stand 35 - B738/A320
Stand 36 - E145
Stands 37-39 - A321
(Bear in mind the multi-use of these stands, and which ones may block others)
Overflow Stands (These are not to be used routinely, though, for VATSIM purposes, some of them [Such as E2/W3/W5] could be used for additional heavy parking if 26 is occupied, but at the expense of blocking other stands):
Stands E1-E3 - A321***
Stands W1 & W2 - E145
Stands W3-W7 - A321***
*Stand 4 CAN be used for a heavy (such as B788) and in the real world would need to be coned off. This would be at the expense of the taxilane accessing stands 7-9 however.
**I have some conflicting information about stands 23-25, they used to be max B752 but the latest information I have states A321. I will check and update ASAP, as the documentation I am using has been misprinted before!
***Stands E1/E2 & W4/W6 are used even more infrequently - in the real world, these are for departure only in very busy times and a/c are towed onto these stands.
Hope this is useful!
By Angus McKenzie
Not sure if this is an issue with install or the nav data for Euroscope, but for every flight plan I look at or draw on Euroscope as any position, it is never able to figure out the route number and just puts people direct to the next waypoint that is written in their flight plan. Example of route vs what ES pulls out of it below.
Any help to fix this issue appreciated.
By Harry Sugden
St Athan has a tower position that on VATSIM should operate on 122.875 MHz. The ATIS should be broadcast on 130.550 MHz.
St Athan Tower is responsible for the ATZ, a circle with 2 mile radius centred on the mid-point of runway 07/25, up to 2000ft. There is also a Local Flying Zone established up to 1700ft that permits autonomous operation for VFR flights within this area, without reference to Cardiff ATC.
Approach control services for IFR arriving aircraft are provided by Cardiff. Departing aircraft will also speak to Cardiff once they begin IFR flight.
Circuit is left hand for 25, right hand for 07, 800 ft QFE for light piston aircraft, 1300 ft QFE for all other aircraft.
Most traffic will need to backtrack if runway 25 in use. Ensure you obtain a release that considers this and any inbounds.
Other VFR stuff read here
Inbounds to St Athan should be treated as if they were inbound to Cardiff by AC West and Bristol APC. Cardiff APC will then position them for an approach for the active runway.
The only approved approach available is a visual approach which, given the likely weather later today, is going to be interesting...
If this proves impossible, I had hoped that there would be an ILS available that although not currently approved for civilian use, it was when the field was military. However, I've checked and it isn't in P3D by default 😄 So depending on the type of person to fly in, they may or may not have added it to their sim. Assuming runway 25, the frequency is 111.15, course 254 - who knows, it might be worth a shot!
Cardiff Approach should take care to:
Cancel the IFR flight plan passing 2400ft (the MSA) Put a check on departures from Cardiff in good time for the approach Prenote St Athan tower of pending inbounds and transfer once the aircraft is happy to continue with the approach visually Technically, inbounds larger than a B757 who miss E or F need to be pushed back down the runway in order to vacate... but it's VATSIM, so just shove 'em on the tiny taxiways or get them to do a 180!
The AIP explains: "Departing flights that have filed IFR flight plans will be issued with a VFR/SVFR clearance to depart on runway track climbing to altitude 4,000 FT. On passing 2,400 FT QNH the flight will become IFR. Based on sector safe altitudes."
Airways joining clearance and en route direction will be issued by Cardiff APC once airborne.
All St Athan Tower needs to do is:
"BAW9172, Climb straight ahead to altitude 4000ft Cardiff QNH XXXX, squawk XXXX, VFR. On passing altitude 2400ft flight becomes IFR."
Then get a release from Cardiff before departure, and Bob's your uncle!